If you’re a caregiver to a person suffering from Alzheimer’s, you’ll need a break at some point—no matter how committed you are to providing care. Sometimes, a close friend or family member can step in and help with maintenance, allowing you to rest or run some errands. But in some cases, respite services are the best solution.

The programs provide older adults safe spaces to join in activities, socialize, and receive the rehabilitation or medical services they need. Some respite care facilities serve diverse clients, whereas others cater to residents with specific conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

Your loved one can stay at a respite care centre for any duration ranging from a few hours to months. For many caregivers, these services offer them a chance to take some time off while ensuring that their loved one receives adequate care. It allows them to reclaim their independence—at least temporarily.

Examples of services available at specific respite care services:

  • Speech, occupational, and physical therapy
  • Meals
  • Transportation
Assistance in personal care tasks such as eating, bathing, grooming, and dressing, among others
  • Social activities such as community projects, movies, music, and crafts
  • Medical services from qualified healthcare professionals, including therapists and nurses
  • Choosing the exemplary respite care service for someone suffering from Alzheimer’s

Start by looking for facilities in your area that offer respite care services. You can get a list of nearby facilities from senior centres and churches. You can also check with nursing homes and assisted-living facilities, most of which will likely offer respite care services.

Determine the prospective facility’s application process and the type of clients they serve. Take a look at its calendars and sample menus.

After doing some preliminary research, consider the following:
  • Who owns or sponsors the centre?
  • How long has it been in operation?
  • How much does it cost?
  • Does your insurance or Medicare cover the cost?
These are but a few of the questions you should ask. The most effective way to research a respite care centre is to visit it in person. You and your loved one should tour the centre together. Keep the following in mind during the visit:
  • How clean is the centre?
  • How friendly and professional is the staff?
  • Does the team have appropriate credentials?
  • Does the centre have the required licensing?
  • Where are residents taken when they’re sick?
  • Does the centre offer a list of references?
What is the ratio of the staff to the clients? (One team for every six clients is okay.)

Does the centre use volunteer staff?

In most states, respite care centres need a license or certification. To find certified and licensed centres in your area and get more information about respite care, visit the Eldercare Locator website.

The cost of respite care services varies. Centres that receive funding from religious organizations and corporations are often the least expensive. If your loved one receives speech and physical therapy services, the costs may be covered by Medicaid, Medicare, and veteran’s benefits.